Thursday, September 30, 2010

The top 10 public speaking tips and issues for September, and a new workshop

September marks a change of seasons, the start of classes for students, and a jam-packed month of tips, issues and topics on The Eloquent Woman. Also this month:  A new workshop's out for you to learn dynamic speaking skills.  But first, here are the posts that were most popular with our readers this month:
  1. I got tired of the debate blaming women for their inability to get speaking gigs.  But I prefer a practical approach, so I wrote Help a woman with public speaking: 13 simple things you can do.  It's September's top post, based on reader choices. 
  2. Is drawing a blank that bad?  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer lost her train of thought in the opening statement of a television debate, and drew widespread criticism. Readers here weighed in, too, on this month's most popular post.
  3. Brr-illiant tips for the technical speaker:  My friend and Wall Street Journal science columnist Robert Lee Hotz gave a TEDGlobal talk on Antarctica, and I culled tips for you on how much detail to use (verbally and in your slides), creating colorful analogies, and making the extraordinary--a trip to the bottom of the world--everyday, so the audience can relate to it, in this next-most-popular post.
  4. Using a sheet of paper (and other ordinary things) as props helped to de-mystify the use of props--and make them easier to find and more portable, two practical considerations for speakers.
  5. Making your slides move:  I gave you 7 reasons you should convert a slide deck to video, along with a link to a tutorial on how to do it.  It's a simple way to expand the viewership of your presentations.
  6. Getting copyright right:  A reader asked about copyright issues for a handout that would reprint a newspaper article, so I gave you five ridiculously easy ways to avoid copyright problems, covering not only your handouts, but pictures and cartoons you might be using in your slides.
  7. Inspiration from a labor of love speech:  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered a speech written by her husband, who died recently.  I've got the video and a report on the legal conference where this especially difficult speaker challenge took place.
  8. The stammerer who would be king:  "The King's Speech" is a new film with a high-powered cast, and it's already on the shortlist for an Oscar.  But we care about it because it tells the story of the current Queen of England's father, who overcame a stammer with the help of an unconventional speaking coach.  In this inspiring post, you can see an interview with Colin Firth, who plays the king.
  9. A new iPad app has it all for speakers:  Prompster lets you write, edit, record, listen to and teleprompt your speech.
  10. A new online profile for speakers:  Lanyrd's a new conference social networking site that lets you create a speaker profile to reflect the many conferences and panels you're speaking on. This popular post explains how to use this new tool.
Now, about the new workshop:  Good on Your Feet, a dynamic speaking skills workshop from The Eloquent Woman, will take place November 3 and 4 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.  You'll learn the components of dynamic speaking, from a high-attention start to developing your content, movement, mindset and resilience.  With just 16 participants, there'll be plenty of time for hands-on exercises and practice, so you can walk away feeling more confident and ready for any speaking situation.  I hope you'll share this opportunity with colleagues and look forward to working with you in November!  Go here to learn more and register.
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